Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mystery/Adventure/Sweet Romance Series

Desert Intrigue
The Adventures of John and Julia Evans

Romance, mystery, and regional history collaborate to create a satisfying, intriguing story! It was difficult to put this one down.” Steve Miller, Author

I love the sparks of romance in this adventure--they spice things up and add much interest to the story. The book has a handful of surprises that I did not anticipate, and the mystery fuels much of the action.” –Suko’s Notebook

1. My Devotional Thoughts: “The mystery in the book is probably the best I have seen from Linda Weaver Clarke. She gave subtle details, but even I did not have it all figured out by the end.” Ruth tells five points that grabbed her attention about Desert Intrigue. Read My Devotional Thoughts Review and tell me what grabbed your attention in this review.

2. Socrates Book Review: “I loved the first three books in this series, but I actually loved this one even more. I didn’t think that was possible. The characters are so well written and I absolutely adore each member of the Evans family. They grab at your heartstrings and won’t let go.” Yvonne’s reviews are different from the usual reviewer; she uses kitties instead of stars to rate her books. Read Socrates Book Review and tell me what grabbed your attention in this review.

Anasazi Intrigue: purchase a book at Amazon.
Mayan Intrigue: purchase a book at Amazon.
Montezuma Intrigue: purchase a book at Amazon.
Desert Intrigue: purchase a book at Amazon.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Interview with Children’s Author Camille Matthews

Camille Matthews was born in Lexington, KY, an area considered by many the horse capital of the world. Matthews is a licensed clinical social worker and author of the Quincy the Horse Books for children ages K-4th. She notes that most children have empathy for animals and identify with Quincy and his adventures which involve every day challenges that children face such as loss and change, a family move, confronting a bully and sibling rivalry. In 2008 she had the idea for a series of children’s horse books inspired by real events in the life of one of her horses.

"I have fallen in love with this new series. The Quincy series will engage and encourage a love of reading and bring children up to the next reading level, bridging the gap between picture books and chapter books in an intelligent way." –Biblio Reads

Hello, Camille. This interview is part of a book tour hosted by Walker Author Tours. It’s so nice to have a bit of help with a book release. Please tell us about your children’s book, Quincy Moves to the Desert.

It is a story of self-discovery. Quincy and his best friend, Beau, go across the US from New York to New Mexico on a big horse van. Quincy has doubts about going on such a big trip but he is soon soaking up the sights. He is amazed to learn that “Horses are everywhere.” His friend Beau tells him about all the things horses do in different places and he imagines himself doing these things. He also misses their owner who has gone ahead and worries about whether she will really be there to meet them. It continues the themes of the feelings associated with change and the excitement about learning new things that are in each of Quincy’s adventures.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

The entire Quincy the Horse series was inspired by the real life experiences of one of my horses, an American Quarter Horse named Quincy. He had many adventures when he first came to live with us that parallel the everyday challenges that are faced by children. He was a young horse who was learning new things and his personality was as it is depicted in the Quincy books. I thought it would be a fun way to explore the uncertainties and joys children go through when learning new things and his real reactions inspired the decision to have him come out ok in the end no matter what the problem he needed to solve. I purchased him to be a companion to my older horse, Beaujolais and they turned out to be very good friends. I focused on their relationship as a source of continuity in the books of the series and to demonstrate to young readers the relationships animals are actually capable of having with each other. While some question the literary device of having them speak to each other, anyone who is around horses for long discovers they are great communicators!

This reminds me of Black Beauty. The author wrote the book from a horse’s viewpoint, also. What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

I am an equestrian as is the illustrator, Michelle Black. We spend our daily lives caring for and interacting with horses. It was important to us to make the stories very authentic in portraying events that horses really go through, what horses think and feel, how they behave and the various daily routines and equipment that make up life in a horse barn. One reviewer complained that having Quincy left to be fed by a neighbor prior to his new owner coming to try him out in the first book was an unexplained abandonment. Actually this happens to horses frequently when a new owner becomes ill or moves. I knew that she had not had much contact with horses.

I am also a psychotherapist and I have knowledge of the emotions that children experience when they are facing change. Acceptance of their feelings along with continuity and support are crucial in helping them grow through change so I wanted to make this a theme in the series through Quincy’s relationships with his owner and his friend Beau. I was really excited when one reviewer said that she thought the stories work well for the older range of the children reading picture books because they have themes that are thought provoking.

What does your family think about your writing?

My family is extremely supportive of my writing. My daughter is grown up and happy that I have found something I enjoy at this stage of life. My husband sometimes wishes I did not have to be gone so much to promotional events. The horses wish I had more time to ride but that is always a challenge in today’s busy world.

Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Those who know me will say that I tend to become single minded when I am working on a project. A current project of great interest to me is getting the family to eat organic food as much as possible. Over the last year I have found organic options for our human members by joining in a community supported farm and starting an organic garden of my own. I have discovered organic dog food for my Great Pyrenees, Jack and organic horse hay and grain from a local Amish farmer. What my family does not know yet is that I soon plan to start raising chickens so we can have our own eggs!

Wow! It seems that we're beginning to think more about living a healthier life now days. Being a farmer’s daughter, we raised our own chickens and gathering eggs wasn’t my favorite thing to do. Hahaha. Those were the good ole days! Thanks so much for this interview, Camille.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Interview with Christian Romance Author Ann Lee Miller

Ann became a writer the year she discovered Sister Sheila had hair. She was in fifth grade at St. Hugh’s Catholic School in Miami, knee deep in nouns and verbs, when Sister Sheila walked through the door in a new habit that showed two inches of mouse brown hair threaded with silver. Thanks to Sister’s jump-start, Ann went on to earn a BA in Creative Writing from Ashland University, Ohio. Kicking Eternity won First Place, Long Contemporary in the 2009 Romance Writers of America Touched By Love Contest.

Ann Lee Miller writes stories straight from the heart with characters who'll become friends, remaining with you long after you turn that final page. You won't want to miss Kicking Eternity!”- Jenny B. Jones, Author

Hello Ann! Author Lynn Rush said, “I've lost hours of sleep reading Ann Lee Miller's work due to her uncanny ability to yank me into a story with authentic, lovable, yet challenging characters.” I’m excited to hear more about your book.

Kicking Eternity is all about chasing dreams—our dreams, God’s dreams, and the mixed-up tangle of both. Here’s a blurb about the book: Stuck in sleepy New Smyrna Beach one last summer, Raine socks away her camp pay checks, worries about her druggy brother, and ignores trouble: Cal Koomer. She’s a plane ticket away from teaching orphans in Africa, and not even Cal’s surfer six-pack and the chinks she spies in his rebel armor will derail her.

The artist in Cal begs to paint Raine’s ivory skin, high cheekbones, and internal sparklers behind her eyes, but falling for her would caterwaul him into his parents’ lives. No thanks. The girl was self-righteous waiting to happen. Mom served sanctimony like vegetables, three servings a day, and he had a gut full.

Rec Director Drew taunts her with “Rainey” and calls her an enabler. He is so infernally there like a horsefly—till he buzzes back to his ex. Raine’s brother tweaks. Her dream of Africa dies small deaths. Will she figure out what to fight for and what to free before it’s too late?

You’ve got my interest! Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

A close family friend fell in love with a young man and felt strongly that God told her to marry him. When the guy broke off the engagement, she was devastated on multiple levels. In Kicking Eternity the hero has to come to terms with the same dilemma. My friend healed over the course of a couple of years and later married. She is now a happy new mother.

Wow! What a dilemma! What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

Much of this novel is born out of growing up on the east coast of Florida and thirty plus years of summer camp. I studied meth addiction, regulations on campfires on the beach, attended an African children’s choir concert, visited New Smyrna Beach and took pictures of every scene setting in the book.

I love hearing about an author’s research. Thanks. What does your family think about your writing?

My husband, Jim, once sold the family minivan to send me to a writers’ conference, works two jobs so I can write full-time, reads me, edits me, believes in me, and loves me. My daughter reads all my books and helps me brainstorm when I get stuck. My three sons are always dreaming up marketing ideas for me.

Now that’s what I call real family support. Wow! Selling your minivan so you could get a bit more education? That’s so awesome. That’s dedicated love! Okay, it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

My father spent several years building a forty-foot sailboat in our backyard in Miami, Florida. We launched it in the Miami River and lived aboard at Dinner Key Marina when I was eleven. At the time I didn’t realize how unusual it was to live on a boat and ride my bicycle down the dock each morning to attend school. All my friends at the marina did the same. After school every day, I tossed my books onto my bunk, shimmied into a swimsuit, and jumped overboard. Sailboats show up in all my books thus far. In addition to Kicking Eternity, The Art of My Life debuts in September, Avra’s God in December, and Tattered Innocence next March.

Thank you, Ann, for this wonderful interview. Now we know the real you! The author who has sailboats in her blood, because of living in one while growing up!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Interview with Children’s Author Clarike Bowman-Jahn

Clarike Bowman-Jahn likes to write children’s books and is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She likes to write creative nonfiction and memoir in her spare time and has been published in “A New Beginning Newsletter.” She has a dog and two cats and is living the life of her dreams. Clar is happiest when she is writing. She can be found at on her blog.

Hello, Clar. Please tell us about your new children’s book.

Hi Linda! Thanks so much for having me.  I am so happy to be here. The book is about time and clocks and is a basic concept book for early readers. It helps teach time for ages four to seven. It has analog and digital clocks in it and is about a little girl Annie, who has a different adventure every hour.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

Once when I was sick I was listening to the sounds from outside my window. It was May and early spring. First I heard the crows and later I heard the more musical birds like the cardinals and mocking birds. It was very early in the morning, about four a.m. so the world was just waking up. I wanted to record it. I wished I had a recording. I have always loved hearing the birds sing. So since I didn’t have a recording machine I started writing it down, what a little girl heard each hour.

This book is about what a little girl experiences each hour. It is her birthday and she celebrates it by having a birthday slumber party that keeps her awake. I don’t want to tell the whole story though. I don’t want to give it all away.

What does your family think about your writing?

My sons are grown and flew the coop and now it’s only my husband and I. He couldn’t be more supportive and has taken the role of being my agent. My sons read my blog and like it. They think it’s great that I write now after supporting them with my nursing career. Writing is my second career.

How wonderful! I think that’s awesome that your sons read your blog. That’s real support. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

In Holland where I was born, ‘ike’ is often added onto names to make it “the small version”. So Clarike is Dutch for “little Clara”.  I kept this name as my author name though my friends call me Clar and my middle name is Katrina. So my whole real name is Clara Katrina Bowman-Jahn. My two last names came from keeping my late husband’s name and adding my present husband’s name to it.

Very interesting! I was wondering what language your first name was because I hadn’t heard it before. I like it. Thank you, Clar, for being on my blog. This was fun getting to know you and your new children’s book.

Clar's facebook:
Clar's twitter:!/@Cbojahn
Clar's blog:
To buy Annie's Special Day:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Interview with Historical Suspense Author Amanda Sowards

Amanda Sowards grew up in Moses Lake, Washington, then moved to Utah to attend BYU and ended up staying. She is married and is the mother of two children. Her books contain elements of history, mystery, clean romance, and a lot of suspense.

Hello Amanda! Please tell us about your suspense novel, Espionage.

Thank you for having me on your blog, Linda! I’m excited to be here! Here’s the synopsis from the back cover: France, 1944: Nobody expects Peter Eddy to survive his first commando mission—to retrieve a code book stolen by the Nazis—so when he does come back alive, his success is rewarded with an even more daunting assignment. Partnered with French Resistance leader Jacques Olivier, Eddy must identify which of three Allied contacts in Calais is a double agent and use the traitor to help implement a strategic Allied diversion that might win the war. Eddy and Olivier secretly cross the English Channel to confront their suspects one at a time, but what appears to be a clean assignment soon turns disastrous, and a shocking betrayal leaves Eddy in the grip of the Gestapo. With the courageous aid of Olivier and his sister, Genevieve, Eddy evades his captors with a dangerous escape plan. But as the Allied invasion approaches, treachery in the least likely places leads to fresh graves in the bloodied European soil—and only the power of loyalty and love can transform tragic endings into new beginnings.

Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

It started in high school. We were studying WWII in our US history class, and my teacher told us about the D-day deception schemes the US and British used to make the Germans prepare for an invasion in the wrong place. I found it fascinating—it was just like something out of the Jack Higgins or Tom Clancy novels I loved at the time. Then the next year an English teacher assigned the class a creative project, so I wrote a short story. The short story (with lots of revisions) turned into chapter one of Espionage, and the D-day deception schemes ended up being important plot elements later in the story.

Your book sounds so intriguing to me. I absolutely love historical novels with a bit of romance. What kind of research did you have to do for this novel?

World War Two was huge, and it’s been very well documented, so I’ve read history books, memoirs, found information online, and spoken with people who lived through it. Some of the books I’ve read were wonderful, and a few were a little dry. I have a large shelf on devoted to WWII nonfiction, and it doesn’t even include all the obscure books I checked out from the BYU library and read just parts of.

I love to read books that have been so well researched. What does your family think about your writing?

My husband is very supportive and helpful. My twins (almost two) don’t have any idea what’s going on. I usually write when they’re asleep. My extended family has also been very supportive—some of my sisters have been test readers—and I think my grandparents have told almost as many people about my book as my publisher has.

Wow! I love it. Now that’s real support. Okay, it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I have twins. That’s not all that’s unusual, but it certainly changed my life! A few days before they were born, I went in for a routine doctor visit and one of the workers said something like “90% of women pregnant with twins would have given birth by now.” Not a great thing to tell someone that far along with twins, just in case you were wondering.

Haha. True. Thank you so much, Amanda, for this wonderful interview. I have learned a lot about you and have enjoyed talking with you.